A Non-QWERTY Keyboard For Hunt-and-Peckers

Tradition says that there are two primary kinds of typists: touch-typists who are familiar enough with a keyboard's layout to type without having to look at the keyboard while they type, and hunt-and-peck typists who must visually locate each key they want to hit. The vast majority of English-language keyboard users--be them touch-typists or hunt-and-peckers--type on keyboards that use the QWERTY layout. While this layout might have performed a specific function back in 1874 when it was originally patented, there is no real technical reason why this particular layout has endured, other than tradition. Now a pair of Philadelphia women is looking to offer a more-logically laid-out keyboard for the hunt-and-peck set with the Fast Finger Keyboard.

The Fast Finger Keyboard uses an alphabetical layout, instead of the more common QWERTY layout. The top row contains numbers as normal keyboards do, but the keyboard's second row has keys that actually go in alphabetical order from A to J (the other non-alphabetical keys, such as the tab and square bracket keys are in their normal spots); the third row includes K through S; with T to Z in the fourth row; the bottom row includes the spacebar and other keys commonly found on modern computer keyboards.

The initial motivation for this keyboard came to one of its inventors, Faith Quintavell, when she witnessed "the frustration of an auto mechanic at a busy auto repair shop who was struggling to type information for a long line of impatient clients. His hunt 'n peck method of typing slowed down the line considerably." Quintavell figured that if he was a typing on a keyboard where the keys were in a more natural, predictable layout that he would be able to type much faster. The second inventor, Lynn Grieco, added her touch when she included function keys for commonly used IM abbreviations, such as IMO and L8R, as well as dedicated keys for the "@" symbol and the "WWW" prefix.

The keyboard includes a toggle button, which switches the keyboard between alphabetical order and traditional QWERTY mode--the alphanumeric keys include two sets of markings: one for alphabetical order and one for the QWERTY layout. The top of the keyboard also includes dedicated multimedia playback keys as well.

This is certainly not the first time that someone sought to reinvent the keyboard. In fact, we reported last November about a functional, gag keyboard, called the Keyboard for Blondes. More serious historical attempts to overthrow the QWERTY keyboard layout's hegemony have given us the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard and the Colemak keyboard layouts.

The Fast Finger Keyboard is currently available only in red and can be purchased directly from the Fastfingerkeyboard.com Website for $27.95 each. Quintavell tells us that she just got her first shipment of keyboards in from China this week and she just listed the keyboards on Amazon today. She reports that they should be visible on Amazon and available for purchase by Thursday morning.
Tags:  Keyboards
Der Meister 5 years ago

If your a profesional then i think you should know how to use a keyboard... Come on!

ice91785 5 years ago

it'd be ideal for those 50+ people that have never used a computer before I think -- never be a majority market but I can see a solid market for it none-the-less for a few years

shanewu 5 years ago

If people would just spend a couple hours learning basic typing, I think they'd see how it's not so bad and wonder why they waited so long to try.

ice91785 5 years ago

[quote user="shanewu"]If people would just spend a couple hours learning basic typing[/quote]

i think you are forgetting that people are unbelievibly lazy and hate putting forth effort toward anything -- besides getting "relations" perhaps?

Now if they had a "learn to type" program that every keystroke you typed correctly in "x" seconds a lady/gentleman (depending on your fancy) would slowly remove articles of clothing....I should probably patent that idea.

MikeL_HH 5 years ago

Imagine if Marco woke up one day and the only keyboards in the house were these things...

Is it April yet?

Marco C 5 years ago

I'd have a heart attack..

FYI, I just bought 3 more keybaords--a Scorpius M10, ABS Machanical, and vintange Dell AT101W.  I can't find one that suites me perfectly yet. 

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

This thing would only make there inability to use a keyboard worse.

Dave_HH 5 years ago

ahahah.. What a cool practical joke that would be! Replace some poor dude's keyboard with one of these things. DOH!

Anonymous 5 years ago

I liked the way old keyboards where the letters snapped off and you could rearrange them to mess with people.

And at the other end of the spectrum..My mum has been a legal secretary for 40 years and the letters are worn off her keyboard but it doesn't slow her a bit.

peti1212 5 years ago

Wow, I find this a little stupid. I guess it's good for the people that do not know how to use a keyboard like for example my mom, lol. She is old-school.

cuddle 5 years ago

It's so sad to hear all of the elitist attude about the people that, due to maybe supporting a family, taking care of our country and such that never had the chance or money to go to school and learn the QWERTY keyboard. That doesn't make them any less technical savvy. Shame on you guys!

Super Dave 5 years ago

Yeah, c'mon guys...those peckers need all the help they can get!

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

[quote user="Super Dave"]

Yeah, c'mon guys...those peckers need all the help they can get!


Not saying they don't. Not hating on them. I just thing that using a none standard keyboard will only isolate them more.

amdcrankitup 5 years ago

Im the hunt and peck type just never aquired the skills but would like too!

3vi1 5 years ago

People who don't know how to type need someone to invent better handwriting recognition, not a keyboard that (if used daily) is going to teach them to type in a manner that will make it frustrating when they use the 99.999% of keyboards attached to other computers.

If you're going to buy a non-standard keyboard, at least get the Dvorak one. It's the only one that actually has a chance of making you "faster"; hunting and pecking more quickly does not equate to "fast".

Der Meister 5 years ago

Just think how long it would take someone who can typ to get use to that thing... I know it would take ages for me to type somthing out correctly....lol

3vi1 5 years ago

It would take me about two seconds: To flip the switch so that it was in Qwerty mode.

shortysdohdoh 5 years ago

there are tons of free and quick online typer-training programs like the one i took when i was in junior highschool that help people learn to type.

i don't know what everybody else is doing but that's not considered a waste of 5 or 10 minutes in my book. if that was done every night by somebody who desperately needed to learn, they could accomplish it.

however i have yet to see a typing program that requires the user to have a keyboard other than QWERTY.

bottom line is motivation though, right? if the guy at the car shop wanted to learn to type so he wouldn't hold up the line, he could learn to do it. a new keyboard won't help him, i would even be willing to bet money he wouldn't even try a different keyboard because he doesn't care.

tanka12345 5 years ago

Interesting...I would think that would make typing harder, unless you aren't used to a QWERTY keyboard.

3vi1 5 years ago

I just now thought of a better solution. Let's have schools start teaching kids their QWE's instead of the ABC's. Then, Qwerty keyboards will already appear to be in the correct order.

I mean, sure... our generation's going to be confused as hell when we go to the library and Xenocrates is filed before Cleobulus, but that's the price of "progress".

tanka12345 5 years ago

[quote user="3vi1"]

I just now thought of a better solution. Let's have schools start teaching kids their QWE's instead of the ABC's. Then, Qwerty keyboards will already appear to be in the correct order.

I mean, sure... our generation's going to be confused as hell when we go to the library and Xenocrates is filed before Cleobulus, but that's the price of "progress".


Lol. That actually might work. Wink QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM, That'd be the new alphabet..Stick out tongue

3vi1 5 years ago

Just think, if an officer pulled us over and asked us to recite the alphabet backwards from M to Q... we'd be so screwed.

jeremy 5 years ago

The fact is, a hunt and pecker will be a hunt and pecker no matter WHAT order the keys are in. If you can't type at least 5-10 wpm, your character recognition skills just plain suck. Look for key, find key, press key, repeat. It's the same cognitive process for an ABC keyboard as it is for a QWERTY keyboard. This keyboard solves nothing.

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